East Africa, exclusively yours

East Africa, exclusively yours
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First Published: Fri, Jun 18 2010. 07 52 PM IST

Bushed: (top) An East African safari; accommodation at Masai Mara. Photographs by Saad bin Jung
Bushed: (top) An East African safari; accommodation at Masai Mara. Photographs by Saad bin Jung
Updated: Fri, Jun 18 2010. 07 52 PM IST
Bushed: (top) An East African safari; accommodation at Masai Mara. Photographs by Saad bin Jung
South Africa is top of the mind, but there’s a whole continent beyond the football frenzy. If that’s too much to chew off in one go, let Saad bin Jung customize an adventure holiday just for you in East Africa—specifically, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. With around 30 years’ familiarity with the bushland, Jung promises a finely tuned holiday of a lifetime. “We begin with a chat with the client, to see whether we can meet his requirements. Once that is sorted, a personal meeting is necessary to figure out the game he wants to see, the geographical area he wants to visit, the season that suits him and how much he wants to spend. Then we draft an itinerary that ticks all the boxes in association with conservation-oriented camp owners I know personally in Africa,” says Jung, who runs wildlife camps in Bandipur and Nagarhole (www.thebison.in).
“If you want to see elephants, for instance, there’s no point in going to the Masai Mara: We’d recommend Amboseli. Or, if you’re on a budget but want to witness the annual migration, we’ll take you to Kenya with its two-month window, rather than Tanzania, which can be more expensive.”
Jung hopes the experience will make a conservationist of every traveller. “Africa is far poorer than India, it has conflict issues greater than what we face in our country. Yet they manage to deliver world-class experiences in world-renowned wilderness regions. We need to learn something from them,” he says.
For the life-changing holiday experience, expect to spend anywhere between $500-1,200 (around Rs23,500-56,400) per day per person. For details, visit www.toafricawithsaad.com or call Jung on 09886100375.
Zipping down the Zanskar
Gorge-ous: The trip takes you through a spectacular gorge. Rudraneil Sengupta/Mint
The Zanskar rafting expedition in Ladakh is probably the most exclusive adventure tour in India, with only around 50 people squeezing into the tiny window of time when the river is navigable. The sixth edition of adventure company Questrails’ annual Zanskar expedition starts on 1 August. It’s a 10-day round trip from Delhi, with five days on the mighty river that runs through a spectacular gorge. Once on the river, nights are spent at designated camping spots. You will have to brave cold weather, heart-stopping rapids and a lot of exhaustion, but it’s worth every bit of the effort. It costs Rs60,000 per person, including all meals, high-altitude tents, hotel stay in Leh and river gear.
Even if you are not into adventure, Ladakh is must-do during the summer. The Hemis festival, one of the biggest celebrations of Tibetan Buddhism, is on from 20-28 June in Leh, and the entire town will be in carnival mode. Masked dances, ancient morality plays, beautiful thangka paintings and Tibetan jewellery are just a few enticements. Just land up in Leh. For details, go to www.questrails.com
Rudraneil Sengupta
It’s party time!
Stretch it: Yoga is part of the package. Six Senses
For an NRI-led business, Six Senses Resorts and Spas has made a rather late entry into the Indian market, but Sonu Shivdasani’s $100 million (around Rs470 crore) resort chain seems to be looking to make up for lost time. Exclusively for residents of India, the Six Senses Destination Spa in Phuket is offering a wellness package that could have you realize you’re long overdue for some rest and relaxation. The package includes accommodation in a 450 sq. m hill pool villa (upgrade to a beach-view pool villa for $85 per night), full board (breakfast and two spa cuisine meals per day), an 80-minute spa treatment per day (choice of lomi lomi, Himalayan hot stone, traditional Thai, Six Senses Oriental Fusion or a holistic massage), individual wellness consultation and daily wellness activities (classes, lectures and fitness programmes). It costs $260 per person per night for double occupancy or $325 per night for single occupancy, inclusive of service charges and taxes, and is valid till 31 October. For reservations, contact Shivali Suri on 09871223357.
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First Published: Fri, Jun 18 2010. 07 52 PM IST